Scott F. Parker, Author Spotlight

From the author of Running after Prefontaine and Run for Your Life: A Manifesto comes a collection of essential writings on running. Parker is at his best here celebrating the kind of playful running that any runner can enjoy. The Joy of Running qua Running is a light-hearted and light-footed jog through our most human sport.

Many of the pieces collected here are new. Others have appeared previously in Sport Literate, the Oregonian, Run Minnesota, Philosophy Now, and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, among other publications.

Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about Scott F. Parker whose book The Joy of Running qua Running compelled me from beginning to end! I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love poetry and essays and have a passion for running but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Scott F. Parker will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Scott F. Parker!

Scott F. Parker is the author of several books, including Time Again and Being on the Oregon Coast. He is also the editor of Conversations with Dave Eggers, among other books. He teaches writing at Montana State University and write the On the Run book review column for Sport Literate.

Now, how wonderful does Scott F. Parker sound?! Scott F. Parker is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy Scott F. Parker’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!

Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?

The book is a collection of essays and poems about running. Several of these were published in magazines going back to around 2013. But most of the pieces were written in or around 2019. I was reevaluating my relationship to writing at the time and deciding that I wanted to free myself from the pressure I had been putting on myself for years to write in a way that was recognizably literary and that might earn me a certain kind of recognition. Suddenly, efforts in that direction had come to feel dishonest to me. And when I started to think of The Joy of Running qua Running as a book I knew I didn’t want to do anything but write the book I wanted to write, regardless of how it might be received. In practice, that meant that I sat down and wrote what I had to write in the most direct and unaffected style I could achieve. The process was revelatory to me. I wrote the book as easily as I’ve written anything (much easier than answering this question, by the way). Somehow, I figured out how to get out of my own way and let the words come. If you’ll indulge me a bit, it was not unlike going for a run and getting into a groove where you’re moving at a good pace without feeling like you’re making any effort.

How does it feel to release something like that into the world?

It’s funny. While I didn’t have expectations for the book, I did feel like it was among my best work and hoped it would find its way to a readership. Every so often, when I get an appreciative email from a reader, I feel like the book is finding its way. By chance, the same week you reviewed the book, it was featured on the Asking for a Friend podcast episode with the professional ultrarunner Zach Miller. Stuff like that is hugely gratifying.

What would your advice be for aspiring writers?

My advice would be to ask what you’re aspiring to. Do you want to earn a literary reputation that will rival Shakespeare’s? Do you want to express yourself? Do you want to make art of a certain quality? Do you want to set the record straight? Do you want to support yourself by your writing? Any of these reasons is a fine one, as far as I’m concerned, but if you know what you’re after it will help you avoid some wrong turns.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book? 

That’s a tough one. I want to say that every book has to establish its own terms of success. But one thing that’s common to the books I love is the author’s voice. The magic of literature is the intimacy of being a private audience to someone else’s consciousness. Anyone who finds a way to render consciousness in an interesting way has my attention.

What is your writing process like?

Having young children and a job (well, three jobs), my writing process is a take-what-I-can-get affair. For a long time, I would get up at four and write until the boys woke up, but it was taking a toll on me, and eventually I gave it up. In a perfect world, I’d write in the quiet of the morning and still somehow get enough sleep. In this world, though, what I’m doing works well enough. I don’t have the luxury of being too precious about this stuff.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I hope every writer is a reader first. I have so many favorites authors. Here are the ones coming to mind today: Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Dogen, Ikkyu, Issa, Basho, Ryokan, whoever wrote the Upanishads and the Vedas and Ecclesiastes, Sophocles, Heraclitus, Plato, Marcus Aurelius, Montaigne, Pascal, Emerson, Nietzsche, Rilke, Wittgenstein, Alan Watts, Dostoevsky, Whitman, Dickinson, Kesey, Didion, Barry Lopez, David James Duncan, Jim Harrison, Jane Hirshfield, Ed Bok Lee, Kim Addonizio, Tony Hoagland, David Foster Wallace, Dave Eggers, Zadie Smith, David Shields, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Meghan Daum, Eula Biss, Amy Leach, Sarah Manguso, Mitchell Jackson, Cheryl Strayed, Poe Ballantine, Tommy Orange. I feel like I’m forgetting almost everyone, but these are some of the writers who have been top of mind for me for a while.

Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Scott F. Parker! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below! You will not regret it.

Goodbye for now book lovers,

Amazon USAmazon UKGoodreads

Author: WebsitePowellsBarnes & Noble


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